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How to Use a Belt Sander – 4 Easy Steps with Tips

How to Use a Belt Sander
Written by Brent Butterworth
Last Update: May 8, 2023

If you have some wood project to sand, you can consider the use of the belt sander tool, since it has high recommendations from professionals regarding its efficiency, durability, and speed.  Here are some tips on how to use the tool.

Sanding a rough wood manually -can be time-and energy-consuming, so it is not advisable to go manually. An efficient alternative technique on how to go about this is with the use of a belt sander. This long-lasting device depends on the sanding belts fastened on the base, used to tidy the gnarliest elements.

When using your top-class belt sander, it’s important to start with the belt installation. Then the material should be secured on the work platform while the tool gets running. Subsequently, it’s as easy as moving the Sander on the grain of wood.

In cases when you don’t have a belt sander, you can check out a regional hardware shop close to you. Several stores allow you to hire power equipment for lesser pay. This could be the right choice for DIY beginners who don’t have room (or need) for such a professional device as a permanent collection.

How to Use a Belt Sander – 4 Simple Steps

Using a Belt Sander

1. Select Your Belt

Before starting out, you will need to decide on the right belt Sander to be used. You are to start with the coarser grit like the 50, 70, or 100; this curtails a good number of finishes and scuffs.

Also, you can try using a belt with grit like 180, to finish an experiment. If you intend to put the belt directly to the Sander, the lever has to be released. The lever is located on the flank of the tool; you will need to press it down to keep it secure.

2. Clamp other Material

Clamps should be used to secure the sanding material to the work surface. This will prevent the wood from sliding off the surface.

For better results, we recommend you have a ventilation mask and your safety goggles before carrying out any activity. These safeguard measures will help protect your body from the dust generated by wood.

3. Start the process

Put on the Sander and allow it for a few seconds to gain enough speed.  Commencing with the back part of the tool, calmly place the belt on the wood, then make long and even strokes along the grain of the wood.

Steadily apply pressure on the Sander, but avoid pressing it downwards excessively since doing that can lead to scratches on the board. Always check the progress of the work as it’s been sanded.

4. Wind up

Once it’s done, take off the tool from the board, then open the ventilation sack. Once it gets full, detach the bag; empty it, and attach it again. Now make a switch between the sanding belts with another of finer grit, repeat the process to get a perfectly finished work.

Tips to Remember

When smoothening a surface using the hand belt Sander, first you have to ensure your clothing is kept off the way. Belt sanders have a couple of torque; therefore, clothing with loose-fitting should be kept away from the Sander.

Firstly, turn on the Sander and allow the motor to gather enough momentum. Then, using both hands (one on the trigger handle and the other on the forward handle for stability), slowly ease the Sander down. The rear roller should make contact with the wood first, then the rest of the sanding is to be faced down onto the wood.


The belt should grab the wood and drive the sander along, so you will need to get a tight grip on it. Work the Sander with a scrap of the wood, and avoid keeping it in a spot.

A belt sander, especially one with quite a coarse belt, can easily yank through an incredible amount of stock quickly. It surely is a workhorse of a machine. As a result, it is important to keep the sander moving.

Take time to check the progress repeatedly. In using a belt sander, it is notably better to work in small bits making use of little pressure than pushing down or tear through the wood, only to leave a cut that will need to be mended later.


Q. 1: Can you sand concrete with a belt sander?

Ans: Slur, when allowed to dry on concrete, can easily get harden. If you have a little amount of space to sand, you can do that using the palm sander, belt sander, or orbital Sander as an alternative. Most times, the use of a diamond disc is necessary, especially when it comes to concrete floor grinders and rough imperfection.

Q. 2: How much material can a belt Sander remove?

Ans: You can use of a belt sander to create a smooth surface once it fitted with fine-grit sandpaper. The stationary belt sander is suitable when it comes to the removal of non-ferrous metals such as aluminum. These types of metal can clog grinding wheels, as a result, lead to ineffectiveness when grinding on soft metals.

Q. 3: Can I use a belt sander on hardwood floors?

Ans: For striping floor and ease in sanding, belt sanders are highly recommended. You can use a handheld belt sander when finishing a wooden floor. This makes it pretty easy for you to move tools around the floor surface. When leveling a floor or deck, the device will perform the miracle by making out finer sand.

Q. 4: Is a belt Sander better than an orbital sander?

Ans: The orbit sander is used for small jobs, especially when it involves finishing and shaping. The belt is not recommended when it comes to smoothing off curves on woods. The tool works on its peak if used on a flat surface plank.

About the author

Brent Butterworth

A Professional Woodworker & Custom Furniture Builder

Brent lives in Wisconsin and is a woodworker, custom cabinetmaker, interior consultant, and a freelance writer who got the opportunity to write several magazine articles for different publications on home improvement and woodworking. He’s always amazed at the depth and breadth of woodworking all over the globe, and feels proud to be a part of this great effort. Brent has built everything one can imagine, from unique art furniture to different types of home furniture to canoes and even a sailboat.

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